Daughter-Only and I competed in our second Team Trivia night at a local art center café. Last time, we came in second out of five or six teams. The teams can be up to eight members and we were the only two-person team, so we were patted on the back (mostly by other people, but a little by ourselves) quite a bit for doing so well "especially for a two-person team."
We went into tonight with some fairly high hopes/expectations--our own and those of some of the repeat competitors, a few of whom mis-remembered us as the winners from last time.
Right out of the gate, the first question stumped us: "When Michael Jordan retired from the Chicago Bulls for the first time in 1993, he signed a minor league contract with what Major League baseball team?"
No idea. We scribbled down the Mets, just to put something down. When I handed the sheet of paper to Daughter-Only to take to the moderator, I said, "That's the only question we're getting wrong tonight."
How wrong I was...At the end of the first round, the moderator announced totals and we were in fourth place. Out of six questions in the first round, we got three right.
The moderator did not update the standings after that until just before the bonus round and there is no big scoreboard on display to keep track of other teams' scores. It didn't matter, though, because I knew we were failing miserably to narrow the lead the other teams had on us.
We got four out of six questions right in the second and third rounds and just three out of six in the fourth and final round.
I hate to admit this, but my face was burning, my stomach was churning. I was utterly mortified by how poorly we were doing. I could not believe I had taken a night off of work to get so horrifically trounced at trivia in public. I kept trying to give myself little "It's just a game" and "We're having fun, that's all that matters" pep talks, to no avail.
Then came the reading of the points totals before the all-important bonus question, in which teams wager points (much like Final Jeopardy).
Daughter-Only and I had 175 points. The team closest to us had 145. We wagered wisely (I've not been an armchair Jeopardy player all these years for nothing), making the most of our lead.
The bonus question: "The Carboniferous Period is divided into two Epochs, each named after a U.S. state. Name the states."
Yeah. Okay. Uh, California & Illinois?
But...everyone else got it wrong, too so...we won!
We won even though I had spent two hours feeling like the biggest loser on the planet. We won even though I was absolutely certain we were humiliating ourselves.
I'm pretty sure there's some kind of lesson in there somewhere.
Maybe it's just a really long story about how badass Daughter-Only and I are at Team Trivia.
PS--Pennsylvania & Mississippi.
The Traveling Salesman
15 hours ago